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Dean Mary’s Departure Letter

Feast of St. James, the Just/October 23, 2020

Dear cathedral friends,

Please, enjoy or share the enclosed Forward Day-by-Day devotional.  There’s lots of excitement with the news that the Rev. Dr. Gray Lesesne will be returning to Christ Church Cathedral.  He begins ministry as Dean & Rector-elect, on the Feast of the Epiphany, January 6, 2021. This news also means that my ministry with you is coming to its end.  My last Sunday will be November 29, the First Sunday of Advent, with December 3 as my last day as Interim Dean and Rector.

After I leave, and until the Dean-elect arrives, worship and pastoral care will be coordinated through the cathedral canons, the Rev. Joyce Scheyer and the Rev. Hipolito Fernandez.  They will be assisted by priest associates, the Rev. Tom Kryder-Reid and the Rev. Susan Mills, and deacon, the Rev. Fatima Yakubu-Madus.  If needed, the bishop’s office has promised their support.  Remember that one of the clergy is on-call 24/7 and can be reached through the cathedral phone number, 317-636-4577.  Over the holidays, your extra efforts to check in with one another, will strengthen the circle of God’s embrace.  Cathedral administration is in good hands with our new Chief Operating Officer, Crystal Stone, and the entire staff.  I have so appreciated working with them.  The Senior Warden, Tim Culbertson, will have charge of the congregation.  All is in good hands.

The Regathering Team, a task group of the Vestry, led by Brad Ayers, Junior Warden, is hard at work on a plan for in-person worship when safe to do so.  Watch for those details as a reservation system is necessary.  Livestreaming will continue.  The team is giving Christmas Eve worship lots of consideration.  The details will depend on the state of the pandemic so watch for those, too.  The music will be beautiful.  The crèche will be on the lawn.  The birth of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed.  The Wise will seek a king, find an infant, be amazed, and all of creation will sing Gloria in excelsis Deo!  Prepare yourself to let Christ be born anew in your life.

It has been a privilege to serve this cathedral congregation doing the work I love to do, intentional interim ministry.  One of my joys is watching what happens next under the leadership of my successor.  The Holy Spirit has been accompanying us through these extraordinary, pandemic, interim times.  This year, the Advent chant, O come, o come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel may be ever more poignant as we have been a people held captive by coronavirus.    Rejoice, rejoice!  Emmanuel has been with us and will never leave us orphaned.  Thanks be to God.  Amen. Amen.


The Very Rev. Mary Slenski
Interim Dean & Rector